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Downward spiral and love

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This topic contains 86 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  Grenada 1 month, 1 week ago.

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  • #306857

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Appletee123:

    You wrote about your father: “He shouted and raged at me for not knowing the answer to the math questions but I honestly did not know. I felt very anxious and trapped“-

    The distrust you had regarding the man you were in love with, the one you had the affair with, is about fear of being “very anxious and trapped” yet again. You felt love for him, but you felt love for your father as well and your father betrayed that love, raging at you. So you don’t trust that loving feeling.

    Your boyfriend of nine years, he is not as scary for you because you don’t feel that loving feeling for him, that most intense home- feeling.

    “As for having a home. This is something I crave so much. Someone to be on my side and to hug and feel safe with”- you crave that feeling and you are afraid of that feeling. Because you felt safe with your father…  before he turned against you and raged at you.

    You are scared. With the man you had the affair with, you felt that safe, home-feeling and you were scared he will turn against you, like your father did.  With your boyfriend, you don’t have that safe, home-feeling, so you are not afraid that he will turn against you.

    Do I understand correctly?

    * Questions:

    1. “I crave.. Someone to be on my side.. I am scared this is not possible with my boyfriend as he suggested and I need to leave.”- what is not possible with your boyfriend? What did he suggest?

    2. “I have never been picked by a boy before”- what do you mean, “never been picked by a boy”?

    anita

     

    #307057

    Anonymous

    Hello Anita,

    Thankyou for writing back. You were correct in your undestanding- someone like him liking me, let alone loving me felt too good to be true. It felt like there would be a catch. That he would leave. Or not like me. Or fall out of love. Or think I was not worth his time and a bad person. That I would be too boring or normal or not his type. I was scared of all those things happening.

    To answer the questions – for number 1 I think I meant I am terrified that he was right about my relationship with my boyfriend. That it would not be enough for me. That I would always want and miss him. That my heart would always sort of love him still. I am scared that I will always feel restless and that restless feeling means I made the wrong choice eg staying with my boyfriend and I missed out on a chance of a true home. It also means that I should leave my boyfriend as I feel that restless or “off” feeling, like something is missing and in those moments I think back to him. I am scared about what that means for my life and my boyfriend life. I am scared of being alone.

    2) What I meant about “picking a boy” I meant that my childhood friend who I did really like and get on with didnt pick me, he picked someone else. My first sort of boyfriend (sort of in that we only kissed and did not have sex or anywhere close) after we had been officially going out for a few weeks invited another girl he had been talking to at the same time as me out for the day with us. She came with her best friend. After that day he picked her and dumped me and went out with her. I had picked my childhood friend and that boyfriend, but they did not pick me. Fast forward to college, a guy used to give me a lift home as we lived close to each other. He was my type and alot like (physically) the person I had the affair with. Same colour eyes, hair, build etc. We were friends I thought, until one day the popular girl at our college wanted a lift home and he took her instead of me and that was a thing after that between them. He did not speak to me much again after that.

    Later on I made good friends with a guy one evening on a night out.  We got talking as we were both tired of going out so just sat on a bench in the dark and talked. We became good friends after that for a few months and  nothing came of it.

    I then met my current boyfriend. We got on well but not like “chemistry” or really well like I had with the person who took me home or the person I had the affair with. He was getting over someone he had come out of a relationship with so I was not really his type and he used to compare me to her a bit eg you don’t paint your nails like she does or you are quite short. I guess I just so wanted it to workout that I was stubborn and preserved. After about 6months he kind of “Fell in love” i guess and treated me alot better eg did not reply to his ex and focused more on me and him. I guess I always felt like “not picked” as we don’t have as much passion and chemistry as him and his ex and it was so hard at the start when he was with me but also his ex used to text and ring and email alot and sometimes he would reply. I think he felt torn too. With the affair person he was 100% my type and just funny and we got on well and had a natural kind of bounce and chemistry. Being around him felt like the happiest feeling I could imagine. Like a fuzzy type feeling and time used to go by so quickly. This sounds very cliche but it is how it was. I just couldn’t believe finally a guy I liked liked me back and we were close eg texting and talking alot. It felt like I had known him a long long time. Like an old friend type feeling or just someone I was comfortable around and could be myself and say what I thought and nothing bad happened and he did not get angry or run away. It was like a bubble and I did not want it to end but at the same time I knew it would. I was very much in denial at that time.

    #307061

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Appletree123:

    You kept referring to the man you were in love with as the man you had the affair with, and in turn, I referred to him in the same way, the man you had an affair with.. but you were not married at the time and still, you are not married. You have a boyfriend. You are not engaged and you don’t have children with him. I don’t think you had an affair with the other man.

    I think that you made a mistake: you should have left your boyfriend and given your relationship with the other man a chance. But you were too afraid and you didn’t.

    Now what, is the question, isn’t it?

    Maybe it is better that you end the relationship with your boyfriend. He knows and you know… even I know, a stranger to you, that your feelings and attraction to the other man are way superior to your feelings and attraction to your boyfriend. (And your boyfriend’s feelings and attraction to his ex girlfriend were superior to his feelings and attraction toward you for months into the relationship, so he knows how it feels, doesn’t he)-

    – so why not end the relationship with this man you are with now. Should have done it long ago. You will be alone and you don’t want that. On the other hand, alone is better than this “Downward spiral” you’ve been in for way too long.

    anita

    #307065

    Anonymous

    Hello anita,

    I was afraid you would say that. Afraid because it is in line with the answer I have kept on coming back to time and time again. I didn’t want him to be right and I didn’t want to be a coward. But the reality is that I WAS too scared and I did not follow my feelings for fear of the hurt it would cause everyone. Yet I am still hurting.

    I do not know what to say now. Rationally I know the next steps. Emotionally I don’t want to know. I hate making mistakes.

    #307067

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Appletree123:

    We all make mistakes and we all don’t like  making mistakes. A whole lot of what people do at any time, anywhere in the world, are mistakes. In other words, you have lots and lots of company.

    This very relationship you have with this man, your boyfriend, is a mistake, isn’t it. It will be wise then to end it.

    At one point on in my life I decided to make fewer and fewer mistakes and act wiser and wiser. I still make mistakes and still will… but fewer.

    anita

    #307069

    Anonymous

    Yes that is a good mantra and way to live life.. making less mistakes. I like that idea. I have tried to do that since that time in my interactions with people. Sometimes failing sometimes not. Like replying on time or doing better at work or being straight to people about how I feel. I did not realise until I started doing that now vague and non committal I had been before. Progress in some areas but this step, leaving my boyfriend, I am terrified. I know I won’t die. I know the world will go on. But I am scared of feeling so low. As low as I felt after that person told me he loved someone else. I was low for 2 years at least. Crying every day, not functioning. I am scared I will go back there and will not cope. I am scared no one will love me.

    All reasonable fears in that I bet most people have felt that way at some point. I just wish I had listened to him! I wish I was less stubborn! He told me I was being blind.

    #307075

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Appletree123:

    I don’t think you will leave your boyfriend being as scared as you are to do that. Don’t pressure yourself to leave him, or to make a choice one way or the other. We don’t think well when we pressure ourselves. Postpone the decision for later.

    “I am scared no one will love me”- I remember being scared of the same thing, not even believing it was a possibility. But then it happened to me, when I was way older than you. So it can happen to you  too.

    anita

    #307077

    Anonymous

    Sorry I was not very clear. I do not mean leave as in right this minute, I mean I don’t even know how to get into my head and fully committed it is the right thing to do. Logically when looking at the facts it is. And I have come to the conclusion time and time again. I think the issue is that I am not brave and I do not care about my own happiness enough and I am stubborn and angry at myself to fully face the reality of the fact that it was this stubborness and fear that caused me to pass up on love due to my fear. I struggle to know what I myself want. There is alot online about “listening to yourself” but that part of me has never said anything about this. It is scared too.

    I am scared I will keep putting it off. Eg keep knowing it is wrong deep down and wanting more but just keep on going. Life is full of distractions and ways to do that. I convince myself for a while, but not for long. It is like I can analyse myself both ways eg in favour of staying or in favour of leaving and come up with a big zero or neutral answer.

    Thankyou for giving me hope about being loved. I think it is common to think that when scared and I am very pleased that you have found that person for you now. I do believe in true love and I am happy you have found it.

    #307105

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Appletree123:

    “I do believe in true love”- tell me then what you do believe in. What is true love?

    Let your fingers type the answer without thinking much, close your eyes perhaps, take a deep breath, and when calm, type and type what comes to your heart.

    (If you reply I will read when I am back to the computer in about 14 hours).

    anita

    #307131

    Anonymous

    Hello anita,

    True love to me is when you feel so comfortable around someone and relaxed and happy and open and have trust. It is like a connection that means with one glance you know what someone is thinking and when their eyes crinkle at the sides when they look at you. It is like when you have a tight hug and in that hug it conveys so much and you feel so in sync with their breathing. It is having someone who is there and holds your hand and is supportive but also honest and challenges you and your thinking.

    This is what comes to mind when I think of true love. That feeling of “rightness”, belonging and a safe person to know.

    #307133

    Anonymous

    I would like to add in regards to my feelings being stronger for the other man than my boyfriend, is that I can FEEL the feelings for the other person. I can push them down but I feel them like when I am tired or due “on”. It all comes back up to the surface.

    For my boyfriend i think because of the guilt and sadness and everything I struggle to feel anything at all apart from guilt and sadness. I feel numb toward him. I have been looking online at places to rent if I moved out. They are alot more expensive than I am paying now. When I found one I liked I felt like a little bit of excitement as part of me does want to be a long way from here and the whole situation. I would like to start a fresh, but then I struggle to actually go ahead and book a viewing. I doubt those feelings. How can I decide if at the moment I feel numb toward my boyfriend whilst at other, albeit rare times, we do connect? How can I know what to judge anything on if my feelings go numb and change?

    #307159

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Appletree123:

    “True love to me is when you feel so comfortable around someone and relaxed and happy and open and have trust…. when you have a tight hug and in that hug.. you feel so in sync with their breathing… That feeling of ‘rightness’, belonging and a safe person to know”.

    With your boyfriend, you “struggle to feel anything at all apart from guilt and sadness. I feel numb toward him”. When you looked online at places to rent if you moved out and no longer lived with your boyfriend, you “felt like a little bit of excitement”.

    “I doubt those feelings. How can I decide if at the moment I feel numb toward my boyfriend whilst at other, albeit rare times, we do connect? How can I know what to judge anything on if my feelings go numb and change?”

    My responses and answers:

    The way you described true love makes a lot of sense- it is what a baby and a young child feels for her mother/ the person taking care of her: that “tight hug”, that “sync with their breathing” is what a baby feels when held by her mother, the touch and warmth of her mother skin, her breathing as the baby has her face against her mother’s chest. As the baby is held by her mother, she feels “comfortable.. relaxed and happy and open and have trust”.

    But in your life, as in mine, something went wrong and the baby you were was left alone, crying for that tight hug, that sync with her mother’s breathing. Lonely and scared, not held, fear became overwhelming. Next, the baby/ young child disassociated and a distance was formed between her awareness and her feelings. Her feelings became strangers to herself. That made the fear lesser.

    Fast forward, you were torn between two men: one activated that baby feeling of touch and warmth and safety, an intoxicating emotional experience and the other did not. With the first, it felt wonderful but also scary. With the second, you didn’t feel that wonderful, but you also weren’t much afraid.

    Problem is when something good is scary: you want it but .. you don’t want it.

    Your present predicament: at times, “rare times”, you feel connected with your boyfriend- any person who is alone for a long time, at rare times will connect to someone or something, even to an inanimate object. The movie Cast Away (I think it is called) comes to mind: a man finds himself living all alone in an island draws a face on a football (or a soccer ball) and connects to it, becomes attached to it.

    You are living with a man, no matter who the man is, at rare times you will feel connected to him because the brain has to connect to someone (or something, imagining that something is a someone).

    If you were able to go back in time and be with the man you did feel wonderful with- there would be problems in the relationship because of the fear I mentioned and the disassociation. At times you would feel distressed and numb. But if you had good psychotherapy to go along with this relationship, you could have made it.

    Did I answer your questions?

    anita

     

    #307163

    Anonymous

    Hello anita,
    <p style=”text-align: left;”>Yes you did answer my questions in a very clear way. Thankyou for providing your insight. The sentence you wrote about “distance was formed between her awareness and her feelings. Her feelings became strangers to herself. That made the fear lesser.” Is very true. My feelings don’t often feel real. Or they feel VERY real but then fade to numbness and I feel utterly exhausted and tired and sleepy, then it continues again.</p>
    I understand about the guy I was torn between. I knew at the time it was something special and that did not come round often in my life. But I was also scared as you said. It felt too good to be true to be loved.

    #307165

    Anonymous

    As for being left alone and not hugged as a baby.. I was born 3months premature so was in an incubator for the first 6 months of my life. So I would imagine not really hugged as much or picked up and I had lots of things wrong with me and operations I needed etc. When I was brought home I was a crying baby who did not often eat enough or sleep very much.

    Fast forward to childhood in that my mum and dad took care of me and wanted me to do well but I always felt apart from them and not close. I did not often go for my mum for a hug or my dad at all that I can remember. I felt my dad in particular could change too quickly.

    #307169

    anita
    Participant

    Dear Appletree123:

    “My feelings don’t often feel real. Or they feel VERY real but then fade to numbness and I feel utterly exhausted and tired and sleepy”- you described disassociation perfectly. Feeling don’t feel real, life doesn’t feel real. We are removed, cast away, I suppose, from our feelings and life itself. But not perfectly, not all the time (we are still animals and not robots, the feelings are not dead, we are not dead).

    So those undead feelings come  out of their hiding place and when they do, they erupt like a volcano, we feel them intensely, and because they are so intense and we are uncomfortable, we make those feelings go back to hiding. We don’t consciously do that, it is automatic.

    When you were brought home as a baby, you were already traumatized, that is, your little brain and body already experienced more fear than it could handle. And then, your father raged at you, that added to your trauma, he should never have raged at you. But back to you being a traumatized baby, this is still a part of you, wanting more than anything to be held and feel that safe, belonging “right” feeling, but when you get it (the man we discussed) you are afraid it will not last. Because as a baby you were held at times, and it didn’t last, it was too short and you were left un-held for too long.

    anita

     

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